Faith Fashion & Photos: Blog http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog en-us (C)2016 Faith Fashion & Photos, LLC info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Sun, 01 Jan 2017 14:48:00 GMT Sun, 01 Jan 2017 14:48:00 GMT http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/img/s5/v130/u1061575826-o687778991-50.jpg Faith Fashion & Photos: Blog http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog 120 96 Keeping our Eyes on His Goals http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2017/1/keeping-our-eyes-on-his-goals Before we set out to create goals for the New Year, we should take the time and effort to have private time alone, study God's word in depth, pray and listen to his response through the scriptures. Let's go into a place of solitude and privacy with Christ so we will not waste time on fruitless things in 2017.

~~twh.

Read the full devotional at InTouch MInistries (www.intouch.org)

Ask God for Goals-20170101Ask God for Goals-20170101Keeping out eyes on His goals

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) ask God goal planning goals new year resolutions planning wisdom http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2017/1/keeping-our-eyes-on-his-goals Sun, 01 Jan 2017 14:47:57 GMT
The Political Power of Prayer http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/11/the-political-power-of-prayer Now is the time for us to pray. No matter what our political ties and affiliations, we are at the crux of a time where the body of Christ can make a difference in the community, the country and the world. Our prayers to God can bring about our Father's will here on earth as it is done in Heaven.

Let's look at the situation from a different perspective than Trump winning or Clinton losing. It was something that the world could not see nor can many understand how it happened. The expected didn't occur and something totally baffling to all the world's media sources has come to reality. So what do we, as the body Christ, do in this situation? The same thing we would have done had Clinton, Johnson, Sanders, Rubio or Cruz won. We are to be obedient to the direct word of God.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,

There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

God has given us direct instructions that we are to pray for those in authority. That's where our faith becomes active. It was a long shot for Donald Trump to become president but that should be even more of an indication that something special can happen now. The body of Christ is in the perfect position to pray, in an effort to move God's purposes into the White House, and by so, into the nation and into the world. An upstart and sometimes abrasive man is going to take the helm of one of the most powerful positions in the world. With that seat, he can influence and change the perspective of the world. But that isn't the controlling seat... 

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-16)

The old saying "Where man rules, God overrules" could never be more appropriate than today. God's promise to His people was that if we humbled ourselves, prayed, & turned from our evil ways he would hear our prayers and heal our land. This promise should give all hope and all Christians inspiration that with our committed prayer, the Holy Spirit would work and move on the world's behalf to bring healing in our government, finances, economics, education, military, police forces, our children... the list goes on and on.

Think about it, just really think hard about it for a few minutes. We have a new president who's said he intends on creating change from the old ways. What better time to be on our knees than now? As he starts to look for places to make changes, he is going to have to seek advice because he has never been in this position before. The people chosen to influence the president and the words that are spoken to advise the president, they can & will change the world as we have known it. Isn't this the perfect time to seek God's will through prayer and active obedience? Look at the prayer Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus:

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,[c] 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom[d]and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:9-14).

People come together not as fellow Americans but as fellow prayer warriors searching for God's agenda. With his promise of healing and restoration, we can see the will of God come to fruition on earth regardless of who's in the White House.

Faith Fashion & Photos | Nashville & Spring Hill TN product photography | Bible ScriptureBible Scripture | Faith Fashion & Photos | Nashville & Spring Hill TN product photographyPrayer for Change

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) 1 Timothy 2:1-16 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 Colossians 1:9-14 change clinton nation prayer president promise trump http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/11/the-political-power-of-prayer Wed, 09 Nov 2016 16:40:29 GMT
Prosperity by the Word of God http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/prosperity-by-the-word-of-god Prosperity by the Word of God

Psalm 1:3

For all who take their delight in living by God’s Word, there is prosperity. Under the image of a fruitful tree, the psalmist declared that whatever the righteous do will prosper (cf. Psalm 92:12–14). Two qualifications need to be noted. First, the fruit, that is, the prosperity, is produced in its season and not necessarily immediately after planting. Second, what the godly person does will be controlled by the Law of God (Psalm 1:2). So if a person meditates on God’s Word, his actions will be godly, and his God-controlled activities will prosper, that is, come to their divinely directed fulfillment.

--Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Sometimes we fall into a place of wondering if God is listening to our prayers or even aware of our situation. Our world is full of frustrations and disappointments but our God is still the same Holy God that was, is and always will be. He is still the same God who loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice his only son for the sake of our salvation. From all that he has done for us, we often still look to know where are the blessings that were meant for us. Where is our release from the worldly prison that we live within. When will our deliverance come from the financial or material crisis that we're in. When will the healing come to relieve us from this pain or stress on our bodies. When will the circumstances of oppression and mistreatment be justified.

There is an answer. There is hope. Psalm 1:3 tells us, in no uncertain terms, that there is prosperity in delighting in the LORD. We are to follow the path that was provided for us through Jesus Christ, the only human to live a perfect and sinless life. His relationship with God, his and our Heavenly Father, was so tight that Jesus knew God's will at every moment. Jesus put the Word of God to flesh on this earth so that we could have an example to follow.

Now let's be very clear, living our lives in pursuit of perfection is pointless without the free gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the example on how to live in Matthew 4 when Satan was tempting him. With every temptation, Jesus' rebuttal referenced Satan back to the scripture that applied to His circumstances. We can do the same. We can put the Word of God so deep in our hearts that we know when and where it is applicable. But let's not forget the one part that Jesus gave us of himself. He loved us so much that he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, including being humiliated, wrongly convicted, beaten and hung on a cross to death. So not only did Jesus have the word of God deeply rooted within him, he expressed that word by loving others (aka US) to the point of selfless sacrifice.

So how do we see prosperity in all of this? It is because to take delight in God we have to first know His word. Then we have to live out His word here on earth to those around us. We do that by showing them all the love that we would ask from God on our own behalf (Matthew 22:39). And when we fail, and yes... we will fail many times, we have to follow that same Word of God into confession & repentance and be willing to accept God's forgiveness so we can live freely without the burden of sin holding us from our blessings. We have to give our lives over in full SUBMISSION to everything God asks of us.

If you don't know what he wants of you? Ask Him, trust that He will answer and know that faithful prayer will be answered (James 1:5). Look for the answers in His Word. Believe it. Act on it. If it does not conflict with His scripture, it is going to be your answer so go ahead and get busy.

I know that I have one task to do this very day so now that I've written this, I'm going to get to it because I don't know what fruit accomplishing this task will produce but my faith will hold me to the idea that whatever the result is, it is for my good as in Romans 8:28.

Seek God out today. Get alone and listen to Him through the quiet time of prayer and supplication. Listen patiently and expectantly look for his answer to come.

~~twh

Faith Fashion & Photos | Nashville & Spring Hill TN product photography | Bible ScriptureBible Scripture | Faith Fashion & Photos | Nashville & Spring Hill TN product photography

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Faith Fashion & Photos Psalm 1:3 Timothy W Harris - Photographer faith obedience prosperity scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/prosperity-by-the-word-of-god Wed, 31 Aug 2016 19:37:17 GMT
Photo Shoot with Actress and Model Allie Spetalnick http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/photo-shoot-with-actress-and-model-allie-spetalnick Allie wanted something new for her portfolio before going back to LA. We worked through a few ideas via the Pinterest boards and came up with some looks that she liked. After getting her digis and acting headshots completed, we went straight for the stronger attitude images with this serious character.

The more frames we shot, the more powerful her looks became. It was as if she owned the studio stage and couldn't stand the thought of sharing it with anyone.

We're certainly wishing this beautiful young lady a successful career on the west coast.

Be sure to check back for more from this session.

Allie Spetalnick #0521-HRz SizeModel portfolio for Allie Spetalnick #0521 - white on white.Model: Alexandra Spetalnick. Makeup & Hair Styling by: Alex Bizzoco. Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. Photographer: Timothy W Harris. Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos. Location: Nashville | Spring Hill, TN.

Model: Allie Spetalnick. Makeup & Hair Styling by: Alex Bizzoco. Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. Photographer: Timothy W Harris. Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos. Location: Nashville | Spring Hill, TN.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos LA Actress LA Model Timothy W Harris - Photographer atlanta fashion photographer fashion makeup model nashville fashion photographer nashville makeup artist nashville model nashville photographer http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/photo-shoot-with-actress-and-model-allie-spetalnick Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:13:42 GMT
Keeping Your Brand Consistent with Professional Headshots http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/keeping-your-brand-consistent-with-professional-quality-headshots It's your brand. It's your investment.

Make sure you invest your time & money wisely by choosing professional quality headshots.

What to look for in a quality headshot?

  1. Are the images sharp & clear at large print sizes (close to 36 x 48 inches)?
  2. Are there distracting objects in the background that pull your eyes away from the person's character?
  3. Do the eyes draw your attention?
  4. Do the clothes distract you from focusing on the the personality?
  5. Is there any personality visible in the image?
  6. Did the makeup or styling take away from the image?
  7. Was the retouching or editing so intense that the skin is unreal?
  8. Was the retouching professional enough to look like an image from a magazine or does it remind you of something your neighbor may have shot with the smartphone at the last get together?

Headshot #189 by Faith Fashion and PhotosHeadshots by Faith Fashion & Photos #189Hair Styling & Makeup Artistry by: Meko Davis. Fashion Stylist: Lindsay Zgonina. Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. Photographer: Timothy W Harris. Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos. Location: Nashville | Spring Hill, TN.

These are just a few tips to know whether you have a good headshot or not. We offer many more tips and ideas for making the best headshots of your career during your shoot with Faith Fashion & Photos.

Call, email or send at text to us today for your free consultation with Crystal Harris (info@faithfashionphotos.com or 615.200.7688)*

*Your cellphone service providers texting, call, & data rates may be applicable.

Thanks,
Tim Harris
~~twh


 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris Timothy W Harris - Photographer advice atlanta headshot photographer business headshot eight headshot tips headshot headshots nashville headshot photographer nashville headshots nashville photographers professional headshots suggestions tips http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/keeping-your-brand-consistent-with-professional-quality-headshots Fri, 19 Aug 2016 17:07:43 GMT
Happy Belated Birthday to Ivy Rhodes http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/happy-belated-birthday-to-ivy-rhodes Hope you had a great birthday celebration Ivy! Thanks for being a part of our studio family and thank you for your patronage!

Model: Ivy Rhodes @ivylordrhodes
Makeup & Hair Styling by: Meko Davis @mekodavis. 
Creative Director: Crystal C Harris
Photographer: Timothy W Harris
Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos
Location: Nashville & Spring Hill, TN

Be sure to follow the talented Ivy Rhodes on Instagram at @poisonivy4ever and professional makeup artist, Meko Davis @mekodavis

Beauty Makeup by Meko Davis. Model: Ivy Rhodes #1291-2736x1826Beauty by Meko. With Model: Ivy Rhodes #1291Makeup & Hair: Meko Davis-MUAH. Model: Ivy Rhodes. Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. Photographer: Timothy W Harris. Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos. Location: Nashville | Spring Hill, TN.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer atlanta beauty photographer beauty makeup model nashville beauty photographer nashville headshots nashville makeup artist nashville model nashville photographer http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/8/happy-belated-birthday-to-ivy-rhodes Thu, 18 Aug 2016 17:44:31 GMT
Managing Social Media Problems in Photography Business http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/7/managing-social-media-problems-in-photography-business Which Photo... Black or Purple top?

Madolyn Garrett-20150205-0180-FB SizeMadolyn Garrett-20150205-0180-FB Size Madolyn Garrett-20150205-0148-FB SizeMadolyn Garrett-20150205-0148-FB SizeDancer/Choreographer/Model: Madolyn Garrett of Xcel Talent Agency. MUAH: Meko Davis. Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. Photographer: Timothy W Harris. Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos. Location: Nashville | Spring Hill, TN.

Which outlet... Flickr, 500px, Blog, Tumblr, VSCO?

Which Social Media Tool... Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat?

The fun of running a photography business is managing all the sites and locations where our photography needs to be seen. UH... NOT! There are more venues, media outlets, forums, social groups, business networks and social media plugs than any one person could ever keep up with. How in the world do we keep working the outlets so that we can market our artwork?

Some suggest paying a dedicated service provider to do this for their business. That's one option if it's affordable but even then, who do you trust with your brand? Giving some strangers the key to your branding is unnerving if your a control freak like me. (Yes, that's why I love studio photo shoots because I can control the daylight, night light & the weather but that's a discussion for another day.)

Just the research and effort to interview a few companies could cause a massive migraine. Which companies are going to be active in the right media venues for my business? Are they determining success by the same measuring scales as we do? Are they current in their technology selections? Do they have access to everything and what happens if they let something slip by? Who's responsible/liable for mistakes that become public? And let's not forget that once we contact one company, it's like knocking over a SPAM fire hydrant because many of them will be hunting us down for an opportunity forever.

The opposite view is to maintain things myself or with our partners. Now I have to admit, we are a two person shop, just me and Crystal. We have a bunch of teams we work with but they are composed of photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion & wardrobe stylists, and print shops. That leaves the social media fun to just the two of us. We have to consider what we want to share, how we want to be seen in the market and what our overall branding strategy will be.

Who is Faith Fashion & Photos and what will these media outlets, both social media and forum groups, do to enhance our business. It's not always going to be a direct impact into the profit line. Where is the impact on our business for each outlet? How long does it take those outlets to become engines that generate real dollars. Let's be honest here, unless you're a non-profit organization, in the end, every business decision boils down to the revenue driven. Even those things we do that are not revenue generating, they somehow affect our bottom line. As an example, the time we spend making ourselves known to the world could be spent doing something different. Time is the most valuable asset we have so it has to be included in how we measure the success of a tool.

These are just a few of the problems that we face when working as our own social media managers. There are so many more thoughts on this but I don't have time to share them all and you don't have the time to read all of it today. You've got to get back out there and model, shoot or market your own career.

Do I have an answer for which option is right? Unfortunately, not yet, but I hope to have interviewed and tried several different companies and methods within the next 6-12 months. During this time, I'll try to keep letting you know what we've found.

~~

Be blessed,
twh

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer photographer problems social forums social media http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/7/managing-social-media-problems-in-photography-business Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Cease Striving http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/3/cease-striving I was upset. Things were committed for a certain date but the process was taking forever. One party kept asking for more & more & more. It seemed as if they were being uniquely picky about our business. Thoughts and ideas came into my mind that had long passed the "whatever is good, whatever is right and whatever is honorable" verse of the scriptures. I wanted to rip someone for making us jump through more hoops just to get what should have been an easy task done. The long ordeal was taking it's toll on both of us and I didn't like what it was doing to our marriage.

Just when I was about to make a call to complain and report the situation... I decided to go to God's word again before taking any action. Here's what was in my morning's devotional:


Cease Striving

Matthew 11:28-30

We have all experienced temptations, trials, and suffering at some point in our lives. Even as Christians—and sometimes specifically because we are Christians—we must endure pain, whether through loss, bankruptcy, unemployment, or a broken relationship. While no one is immune to hard times, believers are empowered through the Holy Spirit to endure periods of struggle. Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The King James Version uses the expression “be still,” indicating that our best response to disappointment is to trust in the heavenly Father.

How humbling it is to know that as God’s children, we have a direct line of communication to our Father, even in the midst of trouble. We don’t have to respond like the world, out of a heart filled with anger, depression, or revenge. Nor do we have to fix everything in our own strength. Sure, we will still be tempted by the flesh. But as we “cease striving,” we’ll learn to trust in God more and more each day.

The truth is, hardship not only forms our character but also reveals it. One common response to difficult times is anger. In moments of frustration, we run the risk of making impulsive decisions that could impact the rest of our life. But instead of getting caught up in the emotion, we should wisely be still and trust in the One who can work everything for our good (Rom. 8:28).

In this world, troubles won’t vanish (John 16:33). But when storms are brewing on the horizon, buckle up and trust God to guide you through. Only in Him can you truly cease striving. -- InTouch Ministries (www.intouch.org)


It is at times like these when I know God has a heart full of love for me because He took the time to show me that if I would just trust in Him, I would be able to see & hear him speak his will.

I don't know what the outcome of this situation will be in detailed steps but I do know that whatever happens, Romans 8:28 will still be true, which means Crystal & I will be just fine because it's in God's will that we have what is best from him and that it comes in his timing.

~~
twh

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith hardship no justice praying scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2016/3/cease-striving Mon, 14 Mar 2016 17:06:49 GMT
Seek the Lord http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/11/seek-the-lord I read this devotional from the In Touch Ministries site this morning and thought, "This is exactly what I've been praying about and trying to focus on for weeks." This is a great explanation to the conversations that I've been having with several friends and customers about finding their way through tough decisions and difficult times.

There has to be an effort to change our way of thinking, planning and focusing on God's agenda instead of our own. That requires knowing His will. To know His will we have to know His nature. The only way to know His nature is by experiencing Him within our daily lives. We start by getting to know His word. 

Take heart to what is shared below:


Seek the Lord by Charles Stanley

Psalms 27:4-8

My life was radically influenced by the example of my grandfather, who wholeheartedly sought the Lord. I wanted the same kind of relationship that he had with God, and I knew the only way this would happen was if I, too, earnestly sought Him. All these years later, I can truthfully say that the most exciting aspect of my life is getting on my face before God in intimate fellowship.

This kind of relationship won’t happen accidentally. It requires continual, deliberate decisions that reset your priorities in order to make room for the pursuit of God. Intimacy with Him is not something that can be achieved in an inspiring weekend conference, nor can it be accomplished by reading a chapter or two in the Bible and praying for 10 minutes a day. Seeking God is a persevering lifetime commitment—day by day, decade by decade.

Too many believers are satisfied to have a shallow, superficial relationship with the Lord. They’ll approach God for relief from suffering or fulfillment of other needs but are unwilling to sit quietly for an extended period of time just getting to know Him through prayer and His Word. Yet the most important pursuit in a believer’s life is building a relationship with God. To forfeit this great blessing is a tragedy.

God doesn’t need anything from you, but He desires your loving devotion and intimate fellowship. Ask yourself, Is this what I want, too? If your answer is yes, are you willing to make the necessary commitment? Seeking the Lord cannot be something you hurry through. It will cost you time and effort, but the rewards are worth any sacrifice.
Copyright ©2015 In Touch Ministries


The devotional says that developing an intimate relationship with God won't happen by praying for 10 minutes a day; and yet, I will add this to it. If you're not praying at all, even 10 minutes, is a good place to start.

Every believer has to grow into spiritual maturity because when we first decide to believe Christ and accept His sacrifice for our sins, we start a journey not a sprint race. Each hour of life gives us more opportunity to get to know the Lord or to move further away from a deep relationship with Him. The more you get into studying the bible, trusting what God's said is true, and acting like what it said is true, the more insight God will give you regarding the rest of His will and if it starts with just 10 minutes of prayer, it can grow into a daily lifestyle of living for Christ.

In his book, Release of the Spirit, Watchmen Nee explained that we must develop a state of brokenness that allows God to work within us. We must let go of those things that we hold more dearly than our love for God. If we take our queue from Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness..." we would dedicate or set aside time with God before anything else. No matter what else is going on in life, we have to start our first thoughts on God. That's not a legalistic, ritual I'm talking about... that is a method of thought that says my mind needs to refocus from whatever else I'm thinking about to seek God's mindset and find His desire for my life, my day, my next hour, and my next step. Therein lies the need for knowing the word of God.

Once we've let go of those things or people that we put ahead of Jesus, then we will create a state of mind where we don't have to retreat to our knees every time we want to pray. We won't have to stop our labor and efforts to be in God's presence. If I'm working in the world, I don't want the world's activities to distract me from God's agenda. If I'm editing pictures, washing clothes, or sitting at my child's game, my soul can find a place to interact with God. 

When my soul is broken for Christ's purpose, His Holy Spirit will be able to influence my spirit to hear His direction clearly and distinctly. Then I can make decisions that serve for the best of everyone.

~~
twh

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Faith Fashion & Photos In Touch Ministries Release of the Spirit Timothy W Harris - Photographer Watchman Nee devotional faith prayer scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/11/seek-the-lord Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:25:00 GMT
Obedience Always Brings Blessings http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/obedience-always-brings-blessings Learning to accept this principal was totally different than learning the principle in itself. What I mean is that it's easy to say obedience leads to blessings but acknowledging it in realtime circumstances is sometimes very difficult; especially if those blessings are not the ones we hoped for, expected or self-reasoned. God's methods are not the same as those of men & women so it's quite often that things don't fall into place exactly the way we would have planned.

Learning to be content with God's provisions both now and for tomorrow is a cornerstone of obedience.

  1. Trusting that He loves me more than I actually love myself is the first point.
  2. Having faith that He can & will do better for me than I could do for myself is the second area that creates obedience. 

When we accept these two facts, we start on a path of intentionally choosing God's plan over our own. His plan is always in our best interest but how do we know what that plan looks like?

It comes in the time spent getting to know Him through His word. When we put the time & effort into getting to know God intimately, we put ourselves in a position to experience His miraculous power and overwhelming love for us. If I spend by best time with God and give Him my full attention, then I put myself in a position to hear from Him. When you really love someone you spend time with them, you listen to them, you share with them. You don't just ask for things all day & night. This is why I believe our quiet time needs to increase in quantity, quality and sincerity. When we intensify our effort to focus on God we allow our hearts the chance to hear instructions with direction and guidance.

If we want to be blessed by God, we must get to know Him not just know about Him. We have to experience God daily so we can develop a foundation to look back on and say "I remember when God did these miracles in my life." It will be a reminder for us to trust in Him more and a testimony for others to try His way.

Consider the time spent with God this week? Did it consume more or less than a football game? Did it consume more or less than the favorite TV series or reality show? Is there a place to go that provides enough quiet & peace where there are no disturbances? How much of God's word was taken in today? How much of it has been written on our heart (memorized) so we won't sin against Him?

~~
twh

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/obedience-always-brings-blessings Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:32:23 GMT
My Prayer for You Today http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/my-prayer-for-you-today God says that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is what I would want someone to pray for me so I am praying this for you.

~~
twh

Prayer for Spiritual Growth

"...I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:14–21 (NLT)

 

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer faith prayer scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/my-prayer-for-you-today Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:51:46 GMT
Material Blessings http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/material-blessings LORD your grace & mercy are more abundant than my dreams could ever imagine.

Sometimes I hear ministers and fellow laymen discourage others from thinking that the LORD is into material blessings so the people don't get their hopes shattered when they don't receive the desire of their heart. I used to believe that myself. I always wanted to give God an "out" in case He didn't answer my prayer with what I thought I needed... usually money to solve a problem. Sometimes that problem was one I had created myself through my own selfishness or impatience.

Many preachers of prosperity and wealth teach that there is no limit to what we can ask God for in material things. I don't know that I believe that to be true either. I know my God is not a genie in bottle to be rubbed just the right way and have miracles dropped all about me for my own pleasure.

Now here is what I do know... God's word is true. It always has been and always will be.  Unlike us, He cannot lie.

19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. 
      He is not human, so he does not change his mind. 
    Has he ever spoken and failed to act? 
      Has he ever promised and not carried it through?"
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Nu 23:19). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

So the only thing I know to do is believe in what is already in His word. I'm not going by what anyone tells me but what I can read for myself and what I've lived out through my own testimony. I serve an amazing God and this is what God's word says:
    
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good. 
      Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! 
    9 Fear the LORD, you his godly people, 
      for those who fear him will have all they need. 
    10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, 
      but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 34:8–10). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

When my purpose is aligned with His, then He will provide me all I need to fulfill his measure. I have lived almost half a century now and I've just recently come to get a very, very, very small glimmer of what God will do for those who are intent on His purpose. He makes this very clear in John 15 and Matthew 6.

5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jn 15:5–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 6:33). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 His doors, windows and even the gates of Heaven are open to fill us with what we need. Just look at Malachi 3:10:

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.* Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mal 3:10–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

God doesn't stutter! This is, flat out, a promise that He even challenges us to test for its validity. That should be more than enough to make anyone want trust in Jesus.

Now I'm not saying that we give tithes and give offerings for the purpose of our own financial returns. Our tithes and offerings are to be given with a heart of thanksgiving. This should be the point in life where we believe God has done so much for us that we have to give back for the purpose of honoring Him and fulfilling the needs of others because of our love for Him. He loved us first so we must love others first. In loving them, we must provide for them. 

Believe me, I've been in that place of need with my family. I never want to go back and even more so, I never would want even my worst critic or worst enemy to go through that level of pain. Once our minds are made up to be more like Jesus, we can no longer concede to the desire to put ourselves first. It's not easy but it is simple. Back up on self-centered desire and move forward with love and sharing to benefit others then God can find purpose in blessing us. He makes that pretty clear in James 4.

2b ...Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jas 4:2–3). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

That's something that has always been really challenging for me. Learning to put my own desires down so that others will benefit first. It has to come from recognizing just how good God has been. It has to be there from appreciation and recognition of all that grace given by God in the first place. It has to come from knowing what it is like to be in need then we can say, like Job... 

5 I had only heard about you before, 
      but now I have seen you with my own eyes."
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Job 42:5). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

If you do not know with absolute certainty that Jesus has saved your soul, then don't delay another second. Stop what you're doing. Pull over to the side of the road. Put down the remote. Step away from the electronic device and ask God to forgive you of your sinful selfish nature. Decide at this very moment that no matter what else, knowing what God did for us all by sacrificing His very own perfect son to die on a cross in shame and humiliation in place of me, you and all; we owe Him everything including our obedience and our very lives. Make that  public commitment to following His will for the rest of your life. He will forgive you and accept you as His own child. The blessings of adoption are there in His word, we just have to make ourselves available to Him and choose to make His agenda the purpose of our life.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris Timothy W Harris - Photographer blessings faith material blessings prayer relationship_vs_religion scripture trust http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/10/material-blessings Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:45:55 GMT
Confronting Conflict http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/9/confronting-conflict2 This was a timely reminder for me today. It was a refreshing source when a new issue to worry about popped up without warning. The fear that I had in my mind was powerful but knowing that God's fully in control of all things was the only thing that I could lean on. Thank you God for your word and for those who are bold enough to share it with the world.

~~
twh

Galatians 2:11-16

The Scriptures record many instances of conflict between nations, among friends, and in families. Today we see the same types of problems. While fighting, people can say harsh and even unfair words. Their accusations create turmoil and emotional pain. What we believe will determine the way we respond to such difficulties.

God’s Word proclaims His sovereignty over nature (Ps. 135:6), government (Job 12:23), and mankind (Acts 17:25). Nothing in heaven or on earth is hidden from Him or outside of His control. So, how does this help us in a conflict? First, our Father knows when people verbally attack us, and He has promised to protect us. Nothing can touch His children apart from His permissive will. Second, He has the power to work the painful times we endure into something beneficial (Rom. 8:28). We can have hope because His will cannot be thwarted, even in bad circumstances. Finally, we are His beloved children. He is a loving Father who understands what we are going through and always remains by our side. As His sons and daughters, we are not on our own.

When we believe in the Lord’s sovereign rule, our perspective on hard times changes. Instead of responding with fear, anger, or resentment, we will turn to Him in prayer and ask for guidance.

Conflict is inevitable. When we, or something we have done, is the source of the turmoil, we are to apologize. If others are at fault, we may have to confront them the way Paul did with Peter. But we are also called to forgive without exception. As Christ’s ambassadors, the way we respond really matters.

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Faith Fashion & Photos InTouch Ministries Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith relationship_vs_religion scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/9/confronting-conflict2 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:14:18 GMT
God's Purpose, Our Prayers, His Support http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/8/gods-purpose-our-prayers-his-support Image from TonyEvans.orgImage from TonyEvans.orgImage from TonyEvans.org

We've been through some arduous journeys lately; more than I can probably write about in the next few minutes but maybe I'll come back and share some of the things I was journaling during the absent time from the blog. Let me just add this thought on for today's content...

If we believe that we should achieve, attain or have something specific in life, the best way to see that come about is to view it through the filter of God's word. If it's in the Word, then we can have a direct understanding of whether or not it is in His will. If it's in God's will for me, then no person or thing can stop it except me. My failure to live with his purpose as my first choice can derail me so much that I won't be in the path to see the best of life come my way.

When I'm not sure about something because God never talked specifically about buying a car for my wife but we're in need of extra transportation, my response should be the same.

  • Be in His Word - Spend extra time studying God's word so we can hear from the LORD in clarity versus what the world's viewpoint says.
  • Be in Prayer - We should be in constant and specific prayer about what we need versus what we want. Ask God for insight and wisdom into what is best to achieve His will and not our own personal desires.
  • Be in Unison - We should be praying together for the same purpose. Come together as husband & wife, as a family or as prayer partners and pray together in one accord. Our purpose is to please God as good stewards with what He's provided (and will provide) so there will be power in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • Be Content - Know that His timing is perfect and is better for us than we could ever imagine. Rushing into a decision without waiting for God's perfect timing has left us and many others in predicaments that were life long problems or major headaches. Know that the predicament we are in today is absolutely the best place for us because if it wasn't, God would have already moved us.
  • Be Faithful in Christ - If we ask God for wisdom and clarity, then He will provide it. Look for the answers to appear through the word of God, through people who may be used to give some divine insight, and/or through the ministry of Godly brothers & sisters in Christ. I've gone so far as to pray that God would give a mechanic some divine insight into the situation and make it so clear that I could never doubt the oddity of his comments.
  • Be Courageous - Have the courage to act on what miracles and insights God prepares along the way. Have faith that if God shared His direction through someone and we act according to that knowledge, God has always been and will continue to be faithful to fulfill His promises as written in scripture.
  • Be Honest - Don't take credit after the blessing has come. Give all the glory and honor to the Father who provided for loved ones. Share the testimony when someone mentions your blessing.

~~twh.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/8/gods-purpose-our-prayers-his-support Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:57:43 GMT
Managing Social Media Outlets http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/8/managing-social-media-outlets There's so much social content knowledge required to keep a thriving media business going that it can be overwhelming. Crystal and I have been shooting images professionally since the early 1990's; yet, no matter how good our images are, the trends for getting them in front of the right eyes is always a big deal and a lot of work.

We've worked with many different concepts for sharing our media. We've used tools like Google+, Facebook, Hootesuite, tumblr, website blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Model Mayhem, etc. The list goes on and on. Every time one of these outlets becomes hotter than another, it's another major effort to set things up correctly, drive content, attain followers and retain viewers.

For a long time, we've not used our website's blog function because compared to tumblr, it was less convenient for updating. Through tumblr, we could share the same media to most of the major outlets but it was all the same no matter which source you went to view. No matter how simple things were we didn't want to duplicate content in both places because we have enough to do with the business, the family, worship, & mentoring. Who has time for duplicating content? We surely don't. And who wants to read the same content on every single update? I wouldn't want to see the same thing everywhere so we won't do it to you.

When it's all said and done, none of it matters though if we are not fully utilizing God's gifts in the first place so we're going to rest in the idea that if someone needs the information we have to share, it will be right here under God's plan and insight as shared with us through prayer, obedience and testimony.

He's been too good to us so we simply can't fail to share the testimonies.

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2015/8/managing-social-media-outlets Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:18:25 GMT
Different Than It Appeared http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/different-than-it-appeared My first thought was that this was too late to post for anyone's interest but then I remembered a friend's recent struggle and disappointment from an unexpected outcome. We all go through these moments like the disciples did after the crucifixion, just before the resurrection of Jesus. Even after the resurrection, tough times came upon some and they were scared or in fear.

God's plan for us is stronger than we can ever realize. It is the constant battle with sin that keeps us from realizing the tremendous joy we are to experience in that plan. Satan knows that if he can keep our spirit down, our emotions fluttering, our hearts depressed and our mind worried, we will be too out-of-focus to make a difference for God's kingdom agenda.

The plan from God is that we not only rely on Him in these times but even more so, be actively looking to help others. It also takes our minds off our own problems so we can focus on what He desires. There will always be troubles in our lives so it is paramount that we reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ to see what they need (2 Corinthians 8:13-15). Look for someone to share the gift of salvation that God has given us. Sharing that gift was our directive from Jesus (Matthew 28:19) and it will never be repealed until all have heard the message. If we are busy about that plan and the encouraging of our Christian family (2 Corinthians 13:11), we can leave the other needs to God (Matthew 6:33-34). The struggle is difficult but we must work beyond ourselves and utilize the Holy Spirit for our strength.

~~
twh

Different Than It Appeared by InTouch Ministries

In the Story of Easter, Saturday normally gets lost.

The days (and even the few years) preceding it, however, were filled with amazing events and words. If it were a symphony, it would have all risen to a resounding yet horrific crescendo: the arrest and trial, the scourging and crucifixion, the agony on the cross, the death, the day turning to utter darkness, the ground shaking as if to split the earth, the veil tearing in two . . .

And then, just like the famous pause in Handel's Messiah, it all comes to a screeching halt. Jesus is buried—and it is all over.

With Jesus gone, the disciples were left with nothing but the memories and His words, neither of which seemed to be affecting them, for they huddled in fear on Saturday, having little faith in what He had promised. The disciples had painted their own picture of who Messiah was supposed to be—a narrative they wanted Him to fulfill.

How many of us believers live with a Saturday mindset—somewhere between the truth of Jesus' earthly life and the glorious resurrection that validated everything He said and did? It is easy to look at the disciples' fear and lack of faith on that day and shake our heads. But are we so different, really? Do we have our own plans for God? Do you and I conveniently believe that the best thing for us is that God and everyone else follow our script for the day? Do we get angry when it doesn't happen?

Do you find yourself speaking words that increasingly convey a lack of hope? Are they words of discouragement, gloom, doom—maybe even despair?

Two choices lie before those of us who live with such a mentality. Either we make the frustrating and futile attempt to get our own way, or we turn and revisit the truth of what God has told us: the truth about Himself and the truth about ourselves; the truth about what He has asked us to do in the disappointment of "Saturday."

The disciples had not yet received the Holy Spirit. We now have Him in full. They did not have the fullness of God's Word. We have all of it at ready access. They were living on the other side of the resurrection. We live in its reality.

Because the Truth, dear friends, is that the music will resume. Sunday's coming! What an awesome Saturday we have been given!

Del Tackett

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Del Tackett Faith Fashion & Photos InTouch Ministries Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/different-than-it-appeared Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:55:10 GMT
Operating Standards http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/operating-standards Making the decision on what is good but what is best is a matter for godly wisdom. With just the bare minimum of morality, most people can see the difference between what is good and bad but the real wisdom comes in determining what is best. We have good, better and best differences in almost every decision of life. A true biblical agenda for our lives will always strive for what is best which is what is in God's will.

The problem starts in making that determination from God's viewpoint and not our own. Our perspective almost always brings about our own will. God's viewpoint is for the blessing of all people if we are willing to be obedient and die to our own desires. That's the kicker. We have to be willing to give up our own desires and replace them with His. At this point, the focus is about loving others more than ourselves. How often are we making that determination? How often are we willing to give up our own freedoms, our own resources, our own time for the sake of someone else?

One step toward that goal is to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. Loving them by God's standard requires seeing their needs and meeting those needs. not just from our abundance, but from a heart of sacrifice. (1 John 3:17-19)

~~
twh

Operating Standards

Deuteronomy 33:1–34:122 Corinthians 8:16–24Psalm 46

Sometimes I operate on the premise that if I’m honoring God and following Him, I don’t have to be concerned with what other people think. But carrying this too far is just as faulty as basing my identity on the approval of others. One leads to foolish pride and independence, and the other results in idolatry.

Paul, upon receiving a generous gift from believers in Jerusalem, felt called to explain his actions to the Corinthian church. He was intentional about how he would accept the gift, “lest anyone should find fault with us in this abundant gift that is being administered by us” (2 Cor 8:20). He explains why he is so concerned: “For we are taking into consideration what is honorable not only before the Lord, but also before people” (2 Cor 8:21).

In his ministry, Paul considered how his actions would be interpreted by observers. Since he experienced opposition in the community, he wanted to communicate how he would receive the gift—to be above reproach. The gospel was primary, and he wanted to avoid accusations that would impede the message of salvation.

Daily, we face situations where we can be governed by others’ opinions. We also can offend them. When are we too vigilant? How do we keep from becoming a robot, motivated by other people’s desires instead of love for God? When do we challenge other people’s faith, instead of tiptoeing around them? Answering these questions takes incredible wisdom.

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul draws from Proverbs 3: “May loyal love and truth not forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them upon your heart. And you shall find favor and good sense in the eyes of God and humankind” (Prov 3:3–4). Acting out of love, with a foundation of truth, can help us learn to honor God and love people. Being human, we will not always carry this out successfully. But operating on both love and truth and seeking wisdom and guidance for every situation, we can trust God to work out those places where we fail.

When it comes to relationships, what is your basis for operation? - Rebecca Van Noord

Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

 

 

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Connect the Testaments Faith Fashion & Photos Rebecca Van Noord Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith fashion scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/operating-standards Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:01:34 GMT
Help Provide Bibles for African Leadership http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/leadership-development-help-spread-the-word Bibles for African Leadership

April 24-26: Three Days of Photo Shoots with 25% of Sales Donated to African Leadership Development.

Call 615.200.7688 today to Schedule Your Appointment. Help Spread God's Word.

 

"African Leadership trains community and church leaders across Africa who go on to lead stronger churches and build healthier communities. Last year over 10,000 graduated from our two year course and we managed 25 local development initiatives in 7 countries.

Our community development partners work with at-risk groups: orphans, vulnerable children, those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and women at risk. We respond with education, healthcare, practical skills training, clean water and emergency food relief.

The cornerstone of African Leadership is our network of Country Directors and their training corps. This group funds much of their work locally; students contribute to their own education. Since we began, over 40,000 pastors, church leaders and community leaders have graduated.

Through the work and vision of the board and staff, African Leadership curriculum has been recognized and used by many other schools and organizations. For instance, the Child Protection Handbook has been adapted by UNICEF for a National Child Advocacy campaign against child abuse and child labor in Malawi."  African Leadership Web Site

 

African LeadershipAfrican LeadershipAfrican Leadership Help us provide bibles for the leaders of a new generation by booking your headshot or portrait session today 

Session Fees start at $350 - Includes Makeup by professional artists Char Braden and Meko Davis

  • (includes an 8x10 or 11x14 print).
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  • Other restrictions may apply.

A Note from Tim:

On my first mission trip, I saw levels of poverty that made me feel deeply convicted about how I lived. My heart was torn with a desire to change not only the circumstances that I saw but also my own way of living. My personal struggles were trite compared to the deep hunger that was within the children walking the filthy streets.

One of the experienced team members shared insightful thought as I cried tears of guilt. "We can't change the economic situation of this country but we can help to change the heart of the people. They can make a difference within their community with the right education and guidance from Jesus." 

Faith Fashion & Photos believes we can give today to help change tomorrow. If we can help fulfill your physical and emotional needs today, you begin to see the Word of God in action. My actions must match my words. Help us provide bibles for the leaders of a new generation. (Based on 2 Corinthians 8:6-15)

Bibles for African Leadership creates a larger source of support for the economic recovery of the region. When they receive a bible in their own language, the leaders of the communities have the greatest single resource in their hands to change conditions. Together, we can start creating that change. Call 615.200.7688 or click here to make an appointment

Bible Image by African LeadershipBibles for African Leadership PromoBible image courtesy of African Leadership

 

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) African Leadership Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer bibles charity donation promotion http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/leadership-development-help-spread-the-word Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:50:05 GMT
I'll Take the Arrow http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/i-will-take-the-arrow Do you know who are the accountable people in your life? Can you name the ones who love you enough to give you the truth, in love and for your benefit, even when you don't want to hear it?

Those are the truest of friends because they care more about your well being than your happiness. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes like the wind but love is a true blessing that stays with you for a lifetime.

~~
twh

I’ll Take the Arrow

Deuteronomy 29:1–292 Corinthians 7:8–16Psalm 42:1–43:5

“Better is an arrow from a friend than a kiss from an enemy.”

When I first heard this saying, I was struck by what a truism it is. It wasn’t until years later, though, that I began surrounding myself with wise friends who would tell me the truth even when it was difficult to hear.

Paul was a true friend to the Corinthians, and it’s for this reason that he rebuked them: “For if indeed I grieved you by my letter, I do not regret it.… For grief according to the will of God brings about a repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but worldly grief brings about death” (2 Cor 7:810).

I recently felt God asking me to rebuke someone. I was hesitant at first, but I followed through. Afterward, I was tempted to lighten the weight of my words by writing a follow-up explanation, but I was certain that it wasn’t God’s will that I do so; I felt that nearly all the words I had spoken were in His will. I had to be confident that the rebuke had power to lead the person to repentance and that the repentance could lead to salvation. I shouldn’t regret what I had done, but embrace it.

Moses had a similar experience to Paul’s. He spoke harsh words into the lives of the Israelites when renewing God’s covenant with them. He said things like: “You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine and strong drink, so that you may know that I am Yahweh your God” (Deut 29:6). When the Israelites were deprived of things they thought they deserved, it was so that they could learn about God; such deprivation would force them to be dependent upon Yahweh.

I had another experience lately where I was on the receiving end of a truthful rebuke. My typical response is defensiveness, but I sensed from my friend’s voice that he was genuine. He was speaking words of experience, love, and godly wisdom. God worked in my heart and I listened. Even though they hurt, I had to be thankful for the wise words. As I’ve been tempted to fall into my old patterns since then, that rebuke continues to make a difference. I’m thankful for honest friends.

We often use the phrase “Judge not lest you be judged” as an excuse for not speaking the truth to someone (Matt 7:1). But Paul clearly didn’t use it that way. He understood that he was the worst of sinners, and he gladly admitted it. In grace, he issued rebukes.

Judging people incorrectly and out of hate or envy is a problem in our world. But so is failing to speak up when we see someone going astray. Paul didn’t judge—rather, he stated that God would judge according to His plans and oracles. Paul said it like it was, based on what God led him to say. He didn’t degrade people; he promoted godly behavior.

Do you have godly friends who speak honest words to you? If not, how can you go about making friends that will? How can you be open to speaking the truth to others without judging them? - John D. Barry

Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Christianity Connect the Testaments Faith Fashion & Photos Timothy W Harris - Photographer devotional faith judging scripture http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/i-will-take-the-arrow Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:40:24 GMT
Model: Gracen Hill http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/model-gracen-hill Hope you have a great birthday Gracen!!! Thanks for visiting our studio!

Model: Gracen Hill
Creative Director: Crystal C Harris
Photographer: Timothy W Harris
Studio: Faith Fashion & Photos
Location: Nashville & Spring Hill, TN

Gracen Hill #034-FB SizeGracen Hill #034Model: Gracen Hill. <br/>Creative Director: Crystal C Harris. <br/>Photographer: Timothy W Harris. <br/>Studio: Faith Fashion &amp; Photos <br/>Location: Nashville &amp; Spring Hill, TN.

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info@faithfashionphotos.com (Faith Fashion & Photos) Crystal C Harris - Creative Director Faith Fashion & Photos Model Nashville NashvillePhotographer Timothy W Harris - Photographer beauty headshot portfolio http://www.faithfashionphotos.com/blog/2014/4/model-gracen-hill Wed, 16 Apr 2014 01:32:07 GMT